19 Jul 2020

Unfinished work left in our bags

This post garnered second most number of votes in Blog-a-Ton 59 and won me the Silver Blog-a-Tonic of the Month aka SILVER BATOM award. Click here to see the results page.
This post has been published by me as a part of Blog-a-Ton 59; the fifty-ninth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. In association with ​IndiCreator. For Creators. By Creators.. Share Your #LockdownTales at indicreator.com

Smiles, tears, ecstasy, cheers
Kisses, hugs and mugs of beer
Secrets, silences, taking a drag
Unfinished work left in our bags
Truths, lies, bare-it-all confessions
High on each other, make-out sessions
Passion, compassion, trust and sweat
Car playlist, matching our moods, perfect
Then an end, despair, parting of ways
Whole lifetime lived, in just one day


I like her
I like the way she made me feel so special
Maybe, I also love her
At least, I loved the feeling of being in love with her
Because what else it means to like or to love someone
It’s just how they make you feel
I hate this lockdown
It makes me feel dejected
It has taken her away from me


The two of us were at a bar, on just our second date
I had left work early, packing all pending files in my bag
She had left early too, pretending to be sick
It was the same day the first case surfaced in the town
But we didn’t know about it, until later
The virus was spreading fast across the world
But it felt safe till, at least, there was no one infected around us
I knew this safety was just an illusion
But I didn’t know what was transpiring between us was also one
It just felt so real


I asked her if I should drop her home
She wanted to stay for some more time
She was feeling quite vulnerable
Someone at her sister’s office had tested positive
Her sister had been quarantined
Her mother wanted her to return home
I feel suffocated at home, she told me
That was the reason she took up a job as far away as possible


I parked the car near her hostel
The evening had been magical
The next couple of hours in the car were even more so


I woke up thinking about her
I had sent her a message before going to sleep
There were butterflies in my stomach
In fact, it was at that moment I realised what that expression meant
I picked up my phone, hoping to see a reply
And also dreading one
It was there
What must she have written
Does she feel the same way as l do
I took a few moments before opening it
She was leaving for her hometown in the evening


Lockdown was impending
Her mother was anxious
She wanted her to be back home safe
I’ll be back, hopefully, in a month, she said
I put the figure at two months, at least
But she was supposed to be back, nonetheless
I hugged her, as she boarded the train
There was a tear I saw trickling down her left cheek


Our phone calls continued
Life was tough for her at home
She had told me about her abusive father that night in the car
She had cried and hugged me
I cried with her
We pulled back the seats and just kept lying there in silence
It was that emotional intimacy, not physical, that made me fall in love
Or maybe fall in love with the feeling of being in love with her
Now, a thousand miles apart, we just hoped the worst would be over soon
She was supposed to be back for her job
And for me, I hoped
She did make me feel special, afterall


I could keep looking at you
Silently, not saying a word
You fill me with this emotion
Heart takes flight, like a bird
Is it infatuation or is it love
To me, it's not yet occurred
But I'm hooked to you totally
To me, you mean the world


She had not been replying to my messages
It had been at least six hours
I was worried
The virus was spreading fast around us
Just two days ago she had mentioned about a neighbour
My flurry of messages didn’t stop
Finally, my phone rang
I gave a sigh of relief
But the relief was short-lived


I won’t be returning, she said
Her firm had decided to lay her off
She could get another job, I said, once things settle down
She was not too sure
She had returned home after two years
One month was enough for her mother to convince her to stay
I would move into a hostel and look for a job here, she said
What about us, I asked
She had no answer


Our phone calls kept dwindling
I am busy, she said
Even I am, I said, but still find time for you
It’s not that easy for me, she said
She had to deal with her abusive father, emotional mother and overbearing new boss
I want to be there for you, even if from a distance, to share the emotional load
She said thanks, and then was gone for days
The cycle kept repeating, much to my dismay
So finally, I told her I should move on
When, in fact, she had moved on already
And just like this, it all ended, but not the lockdown


The things that we were meant to do together will never be done
All the moments we thought we'd spend together are like ashes in urn
The memories we built in a few days together will soon gather dust
The promises we made of having a future together have all gone bust
What's left is despair, silence, heartbreak and an agonising pain
Why am I still standing here, thinking of you, when you are nowhere
Will time heal this broken heart, or will I get used to this life inane
Who ditched whom, I don't know, but believe me, I did always care

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Show your support for the hastags #BlogATon59 & #LockdownTales. Participation Count: 16.


Someone is Special said...

Oh! I saw the pain coming. The last two paragraphs showed the real colors of life. I loved the way you wrote, Vipul!

Here's my take on the topic - Love In The Time Of Virus: The Lockdown And Thereafter

Someone is Special

aativas said...

Many people around us have such painful #LockdownTales.
Amazingly well expressed.

Kshitij KK Khurana said...

Hello Vipul, I lived the journey as I read through the post. In hindsight, one may think how can a lockdown result in all this - but's it's never one thing. It's a hundred things working in tandem. Your post brought that out beautifully.

I initially thought the first paragraph was about your 'office' but slowly it sounded like a girl.. and then I was like, oK, heck, it is a girl! So I had to go back up and read again. LOL. MY bad. I think I just presumed.

But the post is beautiful. Reminds us of our secret little heartbreaks.

Thank you for writing this.

Swati Sarangi said...

Hi Vipul,

I liked the poem especially frequent emphasis made on 'the feeling on being in love with her' , the agony of layoff , family and emotional load as well as breakup ; all emotions witnessed in this-never-ending-phase-of-lockdown. Beautiful and a thoughtful poem..All the best!

Cherry Blossom said...

My God! Such an emotional post! It must be a true story for many love birds. Its sad, actually. And it still continues to be so. But really, you made me cry, especially the last stanza. So touching! All the best!

Megha said...

Dear Vipul,

You have written such a lyrical post! I loved the first phase.. It takes the reader down the memory lane.

However this oscillation between She loves me or has she moved on it can be tormenting.

Such a touching post depicting LockdownTales!

All the best for BAT59 :)

Regards, Megha

Smita said...

This has emotions flowing through it ! Very well expressed. This pandemic is painful in many ways to many people

the factfiction said...

Tugs at heart and touches a forgotten corner of the memory. Simply beautiful....And I have fixed my blog...If you are still interested in reading it, I would love to have your feedback.

Vipul Grover said...

Megha, I really enjoyed trying this new form of writing. Lyrical seems an apt description. Thanks a lot, and all the best to you too.

Vipul Grover said...

Cherry Blossom, while lockdown is helping some people come closer and strengthening relationships, such stories of heartbreaks — as you put it — must also be the truth for many. That's what I was attempting here on basis of things actually happening around me (such as layoffs). Thanks for the lovely comment.

Vipul Grover said...

Swati, thanks a lot. I was just trying to bring out all those shades of the lockdown. I am happy you liked it.

Vipul Grover said...

Kshitij, your comment brought such joy. Well, you actually went back to the introductory poem. That was my intention all along — to leave clues about that poem throughout the story. Thanks for making that effort. You are not just a good writer but a thoughtful reader too.

Vipul Grover said...

Sarav, thanks. Well, these are painful times. And no one knows how long it will go like this. Let's hope for the best and remain prepared for the worst.

Vipul Grover said...

Savita ji, as I replied to Sarav, these are painful times indeed. Let's hope for the best and remain prepared for the worst.

Vipul Grover said...

Tanaya (factfiction)... Thanks for your kind words. I have already read your story and left my feedback there.

Vipul Grover said...

Thanks Smita... You put it right; it is painful in many (varied) ways to all of us.

Chetan Maheshwari said...

Hi Vipul
I waz feeling sad at the end, and that explains how beautifully you portrayed that emotion...the skill that every writer needs....layoffs, breakups/divorces, domestic violence ...we are reading daily about it...very much relatable to today's scenario...
Best wishes

Vipul Grover said...

Thanks Chetan, these are stories of so many people around us. We've been hearing about them every day. Just tried to piece together a tale from what all is going around. As a writer, I am happy that it made you feel sad (you know what I mean, right).

Siddhesh Kabe said...

Bhai bhai bhai, that was an emotional and painful journey. Very nice, Vipul

Pavil said...

Very strong emotional story and written in marshall-esque way :-)

Unknown Shri said...

Lockdown unlocking a bond between two people was a take i thought about, but simply couldnt have done such justice to it. Its a real pain to bear.

Vipul Grover said...

Thanks Shri. In fact, I feel you did complete justice to the theme in your story. Thanks for the kind words.

Vipul Grover said...

Pavil, great to have you back. Marshal has his own big shoes to fill each time he participates... Sorry for going into third person mode ;)

Vipul Grover said...

Oh siddie boy, I am happy you liked it. You have been one honest critic always.

Simran said...

I wish the girl hadn't given up so easily :(

I could actually feel the pain while reading this. So very well written!

Cheers! :)

Kshitij KK Khurana said...

Achcha post likha tha isliye gaya vapis padhne. Achcha nahi likhte toh chances kam the :)

Vipul Grover said...

Haha... Sahi bola :)

Vipul Grover said...

Hey Simran, thanks. I am an expert in sad endings. Couldn't help :)

Aura Of Thoughts said...

Lines are very well framed, these times are surely testing people integrity and patience

Dr. Pratibha Singh said...

Very well expressed post . I think we can blame this virus as it has changed the circumstances and we are just responding to it in different ways. Keep writing!

Vipul Grover said...

Thanks Pratibha and Aura... Strange circumstances indeed, which are testing each aspect of our physical and mental well-being.